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Chris Blais and Jeremy Gray take 2nd place at the AVE Pure 150 Season Opener in California City!

AVE Pure 150

California City, CA

1/13/18

By: Chris Blais, Pro Turbo UTV

The Pure 150 out in California City would be the first race for me in my new Can-Am X3.  It’s been a scramble since August to get the car ready for the 2018 race season.  With the help of a ton of awesome industry sponsors and the support of my wife, family and friends we were able to finish the car on Thursday night before the race on Saturday.  Everything came together at the last minute and we finished the car just in time for a DirtWheels Magazine photo shoot and test on Friday afternoon.

Saturday morning came around quick and we were off to Cal City.  I was so excited this past week all I could think about was racing.  I haven’t raced anything in the last 1.5 years and not in the desert in 5 + years.  I knew I still had that drive and skill in me to do well but you really just never know until you get back out there.

With a completely new car I really didn’t know what to expect. We drew the 6th starting position and lucky for us the dirt was still pretty wet out there from the recent rains.  When we took off, I was completely relaxed and ready finally and getting in my groove.  We caught the first car around mile 2 and made the pass then we caught another car around mile 4 and made the pass.   I couldn’t believe we were catching guys so fast but kept the hammer down.

We came over a fast rise on the powerline road and I made a mistake carrying too much speed and we faced the front of the car into a rise. Now that hurt!  My Co-Driver Jeremy Gray got his wakeup call early!  First learning curve on how to mark dangers on Lead Nav software when prerunning in my slow 4-runner.  We survived through that and got back on pace.  We kept charging until we passed the other cars except one we could see off in the distance.   Those guys were moving at a good pace and I kept pushing.  Around mile 20 we had the Cognito BITD RZR of Mitchell Alsup and Drew Stanton in sight and pretty much followed them closely up until mile 45 where I had to fuel at the alternate pit.  Were still running the stock tank and refueling took way too long.  We lost over 2 minutes fueling and that would be our crutch all day as we had to make 3 fuel stops total for the day.  We ended up 2nd Overall about 5 minutes behind the leaders which I will take any day for the first shakedown race in the new Can-Am!

I’m already setting up a Dry Break quick fill system on the Can-Am and also took my shocks to Tom Morris of www.UTVShocks.com for some stiffer springs and slight valving changes for the next race.

I wanted to really thank everyone for all their help on this build and getting me back out there racing. First off thank you to my awesome wife Patty, My parents and brother, Chuck Dempsey, Co-Driver Jeremy Gray and the guys at RJ Fabrication.  Thank you to all the sponsors that stepped up huge, without you guys none of this would have been possible.  Thank you to the many friends that came to help out as well!

Tom Morris (UTVshocks.com), Eibach, Mastercraft, Impact, Raceline Wheels, Kenda, KWI Clutching, Rokblokz, Baja Designs, PWR Tune, Trinity Exhaust, ZRP, RJ Fabrication, Safecraft, Rugged Radios, Switch Pro, CT Race Worx, & Town and Country Tire.

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